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Up the Front

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Genre  Comedy
Country  United Kingdom
4.5/10 IMDb

Director  Bob Kellett
Music director  Peter Greenwell
Language  English
Up the Front movie poster

Writer  Sid Colin, Eddie Braben
Release date  July 1972 UK
Initial release  July 1972 (United Kingdom)
Screenplay  Eddie Braben, Sid Colin, Peter Vincent, Bob Hedley, Maurice Sellar, Roy Tuvey
Cast  Frankie Howerd (Lurk), Bill Fraser (Groping), William Mervyn (Lord Twithampton), Linda Gray (Lady Twithampton), Jonathan Cecil (Nigel Phipps-Fortescue), Madeline Smith (Fanny)
Similar movies  Related Bob Kellett movies
Tagline  When only Frankie's cheek could save Britain from the Hun!

Frankie howerd up the front 1972

Up the Front is a 1972 British comedy film. It is the third film spin-off from the TV series Up Pompeii! (the previous film being Up the Chastity Belt set in the Middle Ages which followed on from the Up Pompeii film), directed by Bob Kellett, it stars Frankie Howerd as Lurk (a descendant of the slave Lurcio in Up Pompeii), a coward who is hypnotised into bravery.


Up the Front movie scenes

Patricia quinn plays magda mata hari s maid in up the front 1972


Up the Front movie scenes

Set during World War I, Lurk, a lowly servant in the household of Lord and Lady Twithampton (William Mervyn & Linda Gray), is hypnotised by The Great Vincento (Stanley Holloway) and travels to the Western Front to 'save England'. Lurk is inspired to bravery, and upon receiving the German master plan for the entire war, which has through an unlikely series of events been tattooed onto his posterior, is pursued across France by German intelligence. After breaking into the British military headquarters to deliver the plans into the hands of General Burke (Robert Coote), he is confronted by the sensuous German spy Mata Hari (Zsa Zsa Gabor). After foiling Mata Hari's scheme to relieve him of the plan, a hilarious scene develops in which he is pursued by the nefarious Von Gutz (Lance Percival) and his henchmen Donner and Blitzen (Gertan Klauber and Stanley Lebor). Accompanied by the Can-Can, performed by the Famous Buttercup Girls, Lurk is pursued around the Allied headquarters. Finally, disguised as a tree, he is able to present the plans to General Burke, to the famous line:

Up the Front movie scenes

General Burke: "Lurk, bend down."
Lurk: "I thought you'd never ask!"

Up the Front movie scenes

Having successfully delivered the plans into the hands of British intelligence, Lurk receives a medal of honour and a promotion. He is therefore able to win the love of his beloved Fanny (Madeline Smith) and defeat the machinations of the wicked Sgt. Major Groping (Bill Fraser).

Up the Front movie scenes

Bob Hoskins' brief appearance in the film, in the role of a recruiting sergeant, represents the actor's big screen debut.


  • Frankie Howerd as Lurk
  • Bill Fraser as Groping
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor as Mata Hari
  • Stanley Holloway as The Great Vincento
  • Hermione Baddeley as Monique
  • Robert Coote as General Burke
  • Lance Percival as Von Gutz
  • Dora Bryan as Cora Crumpington
  • William Mervyn as Lord Twithampton
  • Linda Gray as Lady Twithampton
  • Jonathan Cecil as Captain Nigel Phipps Fortescue
  • Madeline Smith as Fanny
  • Percy Herbert as Corporal Lovechild
  • Peter Bull as General Von Kobler
  • Vernon Dobtcheff as Muller
  • Gertan Klauber as Donner
  • Stanley Lebor as Blitzen
  • Michael Brennan as M.P.
  • Harvey Hall as M.P.
  • David Battley as Midgeley the Cook
  • Derek Griffiths as El Puncturo
  • Mike Grady as Newsboy
  • Bob Hoskins as Recruiting Sergeant
  • Robert Gillespie as French Officer
  • Patricia Quinn as Magda (Mata Hari's Maid)
  • Toni Palmer as 1st Buttercup Girl
  • Leena Skoog as Nurse
  • Critical reception

    The New York Times wrote, "the laughs come fast and furious when Howerd finds himself the recipient of the enemy's war plans--tattooed on his tush." While TV Guide called the film "Inane nonsense."


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